San Jose State (7-14) at Utah State (11-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 28th, 9:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: D.G. Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah. Television: Local. Home Record: SJSU 5-4, USU 9-2. Away Record: SJSU 1-10, USU 2-8. Neutral Record: SJSU 1-0, USU 0-0. Conference Record: SJSU 0-6, USU 3-3. Series Record: Utah State leads, 47-21.
GAME NOTES: The only team in the Western Athletic Conference still without a league victory, the San Jose State Spartans try yet again to make the right adjustments as they confront the Utah State Aggies at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan.
Outside of a 78-70 win over Cal State Bakersfield earlier in the week, the Spartans have been hitting the wall each time out in 2012. Since posting back- to-back wins to close out the 2011 calendar year the Spartans have come up empty and are now 0-6 in the WAC because of it. On Thursday night, the team was defeated by Idaho at the Cowan Spectrum, 74-66. Also counting against SJSU this season is the fact that the team has just one road win in 11 opportunities.
Over on the other side, the Aggies went into Thursday night's meeting with Hawaii never having lost at home in that particular series, but after losing two straight and four of the previous five games this season it was conceivable that USU could be setting itself up for defeat. However, the Aggies found a way to turn the tide and post a 77-72 win in order to move to 3-3 in conference play.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Aggies are ahead by a count of 47-21 and that includes a mark of 28-4 at home dating back to the first meetings in the 1930s. Thanks to a 58-54 triumph in the most recent meeting during the WAC Tournament last year, USU has won eight straight and 14 of the last 15 battles against San Jose State.
San Jose State opened up with an impressive 51.9 percent shooting from the floor, including 5-of-10 behind the three-point line, in the first half against Idaho on Thursday night but then it all went downhill after that. D.J. Brown tried to keep it together for SJSU with his 18 points, followed by James Kinney and Wil Carter who each dropped in 15 points, the latter clearing nine rebounds as well, but it wasn't nearly enough. Part of the problem was Keith Shamburger who shot just 1-of-8 from the floor in the meeting. In the early part of the season Shamburger was the player to watch for the Spartans, but he has since struggled and, even though he is scoring 13.7 ppg, his mere 32.9 percent from the floor and 29.0 percent behind the three-point line is definitely hurting more than it is helping. Kinney paces the group with his 15.8 ppg, but still the Spartans are being outscored by more than four points per game.
The Aggies faced a Hawaii team that had two players record double-doubles on Thursday night and still Utah State found a way to land in the win column again. Preston Medlin was a big part of that as he led five players in double figures with his 25 points, followed by Danny Berger and Ben Clifford with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kyisean Reed and Brockeith Pane both dropped in 10 points and handed out four assists, the latter also clearing a team-best six rebounds in the meeting as they turned the ball over just eight times. Medlin has become a dangerous player for the Aggies, sporting 15.3 ppg as he shoots 42.6 percent behind the three-point line, while Pane accounts for another 12.3 ppg and has combined with the former to hand out 137 assists which is more than half the team's total at this stage. Defensively, USU is limiting opponents to just 31.6 percent accuracy from beyond the arc and 40.9 percent from the field through 21 games.
As the Aggies proved a couple nights ago, even with this being a down year for the program it is still not easy to catch USU sleeping in Logan, and you have to think SJSU will be awakening a sleeping giant tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 73, San Jose State 61
01/28 10:37:01 ET